Baidya outfit detonates explosive
HETAUDA, JUL 22 – An obscure underground outfit, Rudra Pakhrin faction of the CPN-Maoist led by Mohan Baidya, detonated an explosive at Panchayat Silver Jubilee Pillar at Hetauda-4 in Makwanpur district on Saturday night. However, no casualties were reported. Anil Thapa, who witnessed the incident, said two motorcycle-borne men hurled a low-impact explosive at around 9:45pm and ran away. A preliminary police investigation shows that the improvised explosive device was made using a pipe.
Some pamphlets and a banner of the outfit recovered from the incident site were against the Constituent Assembly elections slated for November 19. Superintendent of Police Gupta Bahadur Shrestha said the outfit carried out the incident to foil the upcoming elections. A search operation is on to nab the guilty, he said. Security personnel said a press statement, which was signed in the name of Kiran, was made public about a month ago about the formation of the group. Rudra Pakhrin of Gadhi VDC, who was the then Makwanpur in-charge of the CPN (Maoist), was killed by security force during the conflict period.
Baidya warns of retaliation if CA poll forced upon
HETAUDA, July 22: CPN-Maoist chairman Mohan Baidya has reiterated that the government should make efforts at accommodating all the political parties in the election to the Constituent Assembly (CA) through dialogue. He also warned that his party would strongly retaliate if the government and the four political parties forcibly held the election. Speaking in a news conference organised by Revolutionary Journalists Federation, Makawanpur chapter here today, Baidya said that it was inevitable to work together with the nationalist and patriotic forces including the former king for keeping intact the national sovereignty and indivisibility.
“Although we have talked of collaborating with the former king for protecting the national autonomy and to foil the growing foreign meddling in the country´s affairs, the CPN-Maoist will not compromise on the republic, secularism and federalism,” the CPN-Maoist chairman said. He expressed the conviction that the parties opposing the CA election including his own party would participate in the election if an all-party national unity government was formed through a roundtable conference as suggested by his party and the CA election was held by that government.
Alliance with ex-king possible: Baidya
MAKWANPUR, July 22: CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya said that his party may forge an alliance with former king Gyanendra Shah for “preserving national interests”. Speaking at a press conference in Makwanpur organized by the Revolutionary Journalists Association on Monday, Baidya said that due to an increasing foreign intrusion in the country his party might make an alliance with the former king without any preconditions.
Responding to a query by journalists, Baidya said that there are differences between his party and the former monarch while defining nationalism. He said any alliance between the two will formalize only if the ex-monarch comes to terms with the Maoist idea of nationalism. Baidya said that the government´s appeal for for talks is positive. “We are ready to sit for talks without any conditions, but the talks should not mean to hold the Constituent Assembly elections,” he said. Baidya said that his party would make all possible efforts to obstruct the forthcoming CA elections, saying that the elections by the current ´illegitimate´ government is not acceptable to his party.
“This government was not formed in a legitimate way. That´s why we don´t need to take part in the CA elections to be held by the incumbent government. Rather we will obstruct the elections with everything that is in our power,” he said. Baidya said that his party would not even allow other parties to launch election campaigns in the remote areas. He clarified that he has been visiting various parts of the country to meet party cadres and tell them to boycott the elections.
“The dissolution of the incumbent government and holding of a round table conference are our preconditions to take part in the CA elections,” he said. He said that there would be no meaning of the CA elections without participation of all parties. Baidya ruled out any possibility of unification with the UCPN Maoist, saying that the party had split due to fundamental differences over a range of issues. “If they correct themselves realizing past mistakes there might be unification with the UCPN Maoist,” he however said. The party´s General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa, politbureau member Kul Bahadur KC, central committee member Mahendra Paswan and in-charge of the party´s Tamsling state committee Surya Subedi were also present at the press conference.
Protest halts Kulekhani III hydel project works, again
HETAUDA, JUL 22 – Protesting the firing of 14 labourers by contractor Sino Hydro, workers have been obstructing regular work on the 14-MW Kulekhani III Hydropower Project for the last four days. The protest has particularly hit the tunnel digging work and project officials fear that the agitation would delay the completion of the tunnel. The workers have sought additional benefits for those who have been sacked. “We had to launch the protest as the contractor failed to offer the committed facilities,” said Pema Lama, one of the project workers. “The contractor must fulfil its obligation as per the contract agreement with the workers.”
As per the agreement, retiring workers have to be provided with additional facilities, according to the agitating workers. The tussle between the contractor and the workers has erupted at a time when the tunnel has entered its final stage of construction. Project chief Madhusudan Pratap Malla said only a 48-m section is left for construction and it could be completed with a week if the work continued. Of the 4,294-m tunnel, construction of 4,246 m has been completed.
“Almost 95 percent of the tunnel work has been completed,” said Malla. The project is targeted to be completed by September 2014. Around 66 percent of the overall project work has been completed. The project construction started in April 2008. Sino Hydro has assigned around 140 Chinese and more than 300 Nepali employees in the project. “We are looking forward to meet the extended deadline of the project completion,” said Malla, adding around Rs 2 billion has already been invested in the project whose estimated cost is Rs 2.43 billion. The project should have completed by November 2011, but only 40 percent of the construction work was completed by then. The Chinese contractor had warned of pulling out from the project demanding compensation and additional time to complete the project. And, the government had increased the completion deadline by 30 months on April 2012.